Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dashing through the snow, wearing next to nothing

OK, sorry for the gross imagery in the title.

I ran a couple runs that didn't get logged, thanks to me not plugging in my GPS getting back from a previous run. Dumb. Oh well.

ALSO, I was scheduled to meet with the president of the recruiting company I got my new job contract through. We had a nice breakfast before my first day, where I was about as socially un-awkward as I ever could be, and when walking back to our cards I stepped in a patch of slush, and was suddenly on my side, with my tan slacks completely coated in blackish parking lot snow goop. Whoops. How embarrassing. Bought new pants. Kept going. Hip hurt for a week (still does a bit), but I'm not complaining.

New job is awesome - They are so encouraging and friendly, and bend over backwards to make me feel at home and valued. Having a reasonable paycheque is nice too.

ANYWAY - today was my first time wearing running tights. The jogging pants / hoodie thing I've been doing most winter days is just too restrictive, so I got a pair of tights and a long sleeve under armor top. I put on some running shorts and a tshirt over than, as I didn't want to freak anybody out, and woke my Vibran EL-X. Its amazing how much warmer my feet feel now that i'm not bothering to put socks on them. It makes no sense to me but the only time my feet are really cold is when I just start out, or run through deep snow or puddles.

Since my hip was so nice to me today, I'm going to try to fit in another run tomorrow.


Friday, November 29, 2013

2 weeks in to it, again

The last few months have been a series of false starts and broken promises. Diet plans fell through due to ease of access and lack of time (or lack of resolve) to find the food I should be eating. Babies getting heavier meant stroller runs getting harder and slower. Pressure at work had me coming home every night feeling like an idiot, and like I might lose my job at any time for reasons outside of my control. Excuses come easy, just like they do for everyone else.

And I did. Those close to me know the details, and I was let go on the absolute worst day of the year for anyone in IT to start looking for a new position, doubly so for datacenter positions. That said, an incredible network of contacts that I didn't even know I had really stepped up and have made me feel a whole lot better about my chances for getting gainfully employed in the near future.

So, I put on some of the weight lost, and I almost completely stopped running (getting in maybe a run every couple weeks). The last 2 weeks, I've kept a much better schedule, and today I got to do a 5 miler in freezing weather in my thinnest shoes. Feels much better.

So now, keep doing it. I'm down about 5 lbs since I got back on keto 2 weeks ago, and am going strong. Now to take care of the other stuff.

I'd have posted sooner, but the most dangerous thing you can do is say you're going to do something. The endorphin rush, the sense of satisfaction - is nearly the same as if you actually do it - and that sense of satisfaction will often be the thing that stops you from doing it. I'd rather post again with a couple weeks of good solid running behind me.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Had a few runs not worth blogging about.

I think not running enough in August due to heat and injuries has really hurt me in spetember. My pace has been slower, and I'm struggling - I'm pushing harder now to remedy there.

Beginning of the week  had a run hampered by cramps. Terrible pace.

Yesterday I had a run where after running for 10 minutes and looking at my watch, it said I rad run 0 distance - had to reset the watch - 10 minutes of 0 killed my pace again. Wouldn't have been great anyway.

Today. I ran with the wife and kids and had to deal with a lot of wind, not a good run again. BUT, at least we ran 3 times this week, and hopefully again tomorrow.

Next week I really hope I can have a few runs worth talking about.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Storm running, almost died.

At 93 degrees, it was too hot to run, and I was waiting for the rain to come to cool things down. Right when the sky got dark, I got moving on my usual path, and by the time I was running, drops were just starting to fall. This cooled me down, and 5 minutes in to the run I was going very quickly, very happy that the rain was keeping me quite cool. I wanted to run in a storm, thinking it would give me some of the same energy a race does (it did).

Once I got to the park, the storm intensified. At one point a small branch broke away from a tree I was under and brushed my head and shoulder as it fell. No big deal - tiny scratch. 5 minutes water it seemed like someone tapped me on the shoulder. Another falling branch, much larger. The wind was really picking up, but it was at my back, so I felt incredible.

Then the hail started. Five more minutes and a gunshot went off a few feet away from my head. I whipped around to look - no gun, but a branch as thick as my torso had broken away fomr a nearby tree and was falling to the ground. Yikes, good thing I hadn't paused my run to hide from the hail under a tree. My this point it was nearly nighttime dark, and I was making the curve to head back home - almost directly in to the wind - the hail got way worse. Hail the size of sugar cubes, pelting my head face and body. I started running with my elbows at my chin and forearms covering my face and head, just to prevent serious injury. I started to have visions of my scalp peeling down my head in much the same fashion that a nice sweater would. I started to seriously worry about my safety and regret my decision to run. I was imagining headlines, like "local atheist wins darwin award".

Luckily, that was the worst of it, and it didn't last long. A few minutes later the wind had died down from gale to light breeze, and the rain was friendly and cool. I had to divert my trail as a a large branch had fallen across the path, so I took a detour through a field. On my way out of the park, a large tree I had just run over was completely knocked over, splintered wood all up the trunk, and the tree completely blocking humboldt park drive. It had to be at least 100 years old. Sad to see it down. 

A thin blue band of sky in the horizon signified the end of the storm, and my last 10 minutes was in air perfectly still. I had to run through several ankle deep puddles, and was thankful that I have such resiliant shoes. Even though it was terrifying, terribly painful and dangerous for a bit, that may have been my favorite run ever.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Lake Defiance Easy Run

Trying to not injure myself again, so taking a few simple runs to build things back up. This time was at Lake Defiance, in Mchenry, while on a visit to the in-laws. Very nice trail, well groomed, very hilly, with some really pretty views. There were a few loops, and the run could have been greatly extended, but with the hills and the recovery attitude, 3.7 miles seemed like just enough. Looking forward to going out there and doing a longer run one of these weekends.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday morning park run

Headed to the in-laws for the weekend, so did a quick park run as soon as wife and babies were set up for the morning. Pretty nice - not too hot yet, lots of runners, and only one motorist yelling at me for my lawful use of the crosswalk, forcing the poor guy to actually push down on the brake and slow down a bit for a few seconds.

I started off doing some block-on, block-off intervals. My on blocks were getting around a 6:30 pace, but it was killing me quickly, so by the time mile 1 was over, I was trying to run more traditionally. My pace suffered from lack of focus a bit, but the fast bits at least put me in the 8:40's (I wanted around 8:20). That said, I'm not complaining. Lazy week, didn't so much, so I can't expect much in return. This week is a chance for me to turn things around.

I find my first few minutes of any run to be weird. I can't remember exactly how to do it, and I feel awkward - flailing around, just a collection of limbs with no order. I actively wait at that point for me to stop trying to run and just run, and it happens within the first 5 minutes, but you'd think that I know how to do it by now.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

slow week

Woke up at 4:30 for a pre-work run yesterday. The whole way I was thinking "Holy crap I'm going so fast!" - I really thought I was breaking any previous record I'd done. I didn't want to look at my watch out of fear that knowing I'd be so far ahead, I'd be tempted to slow down.

Nope :( Turned out I was 45 seconds a mile off my best time. I guess everything just feels faster in the morning. Oh well - next time.

Air quality advisory makes me a bit nervous about running outside tonight, but I guess I'm ok with it. Hopefully I'll be faster.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday morning stroller struggle

Angie was called in to work this morning (working on call as we pay off some debts), so I was left with two babies who refuse to nap, and who refuse to be entertained unless they are destroying things. My solution, throw them in the stroller and run them around until I can't run anymore.

I was slower than my last two runs by a lot, and my IT band started hurting. This tells me that while I can run 4 miles with no stroller no problem, 5 miles with the stroller is an issue. I'll have to find the happy medium and work up from there.

I don't think I was really appreciating the run while I did it, was sort of tuned out, but now that I've got it behind me, I'm happy I got out there - I wish I'd been more in the moment to enjoy it while it was happening.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Why are my legs sore?

I think in recovering from my injury, my legs really slipped back in what they can handle. Today, after 2 days of my usual run route, my legs are really punishing me. They don't feel injured, but definitely sore. I'll rest today, anticipating longer runs on the weekend.

While running through the park last night a bored kid waiting for his family saw me approaching and started running alongside me, bolting toward a tree ahead of us. He got there before me, turned and put his arms in the air - I show him a thumbs up, which was returned to me, and kept going. 

I ran at dusk, and confirmed something I've noticed on previous runs. It seems that all around the ponds, Humboldt Park becomes weed park. It is almost comic about how frequent (like every 30 seconds or so) I'd run past people in the process. I'm not against people doing whatever they want to do, but that said, the skunky smell makes running a bit less enjoyable when running and gasping for air. Where I was raised, weed was a pretty normal part of life for teenagers and people in their early 20s, but it seems most people still in to it fade away before they reach 30. Now I know they aren't gone, they're just all in the park.

I thought I was going to be able to break 8:30 on this run, but fell about 10 seconds a mile short. this will be my goal for next week.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to it - Pain-free park run

This weekend I ran twice- both times involved significant IT band pain. It depressed me so much I didn't blog about it, didn't want to think about not being able to run. The thing about being a formerly obese person is that you always have that memory of yourself sitting on your back, whispering "this is the beginning of the end".

That said, I had to run again today to see if the leg was any better - seemed to be. I think that I've been hurting it pushing the stroller on trails and weird terrain. I still want to do all of that, but I think I'd better work more slowly toward it.

Kids are awesome, teens are evil. I ran past a bleacher that had a small flock of teenage kids on it, and while they were silent as I approached, the moment I passed, one muttered out just loudly enough "Big belly jigglin'", followed by gales of laughter from the group. Eh, doesn't bother me. Kept running. 5 minutes later I passed a group of kids who were maybe around 10 years old, and they had nothing but cheers and encouraging phrases. So yeah, kids are awesome.

Good run. Still can't meet my pace from my 5k run, but I think I will soon enough.